Friday, September 14, 2012

Get to the Source of the Problem.

I may have written some things in the past that should have been obvious to most people, and this one is going to be the biggest "No s**t Sherlock" post I hope to ever write.  But from what I see day in and day out, it needs to be written.  I ask that you go out of your way to let others know, not to get more views, but to get more people reading this (not so) common sense.

Let's say you have a car.  It's an older car, but you love it.  One day the battery dies.  You jump it and let the engine run for an hour like you should to recharge the battery, but the second you turn off the car, the battery can't turn the engine over again.  OK, so you go out to the store and buy a new one.  The car runs great again, for two days.  Suddenly the battery won't hold a charge again.  Well, maybe it was a dud battery, so you go out and buy another one.  The car runs great again, for two more days.  Now you have a choice, keep buying new batteries every two days, or get to the source of the problem.

Now, most normal people would look deeper into the problem after the second battery died, but there seems to be a small subset of people who would just keep buying batteries over and over again.

For example, New York just passed a law to ban larger sodas in restaurants.  The idea is that people will get smaller drinks, drink less and not get as fat.  Thus NY won't have the child obesity problem any more.

Now, I'm only going to say one thing on this obesity problem.  Next time you go out shopping, count the number of skinny people and then the number of obese people.  Not the people who could stand to lose 5lbs, or the people who you think might be fat, but the actual obese people.  While you're doing that, count the rest.  I did that once and came up with over 100 normal people and 5 obese.  Now, I know this is anecdotal evidence.  I don't have enough information to do things scientifically, so that is all I'm going to say on the matter.  Who knows, maybe I live in the one and only city of 2 million+ people who doesn't have an obesity problem.

Now, let's throw a few simple facts out there.  1) soda doesn't provide enough of anything to get someone fat on it's own.  2) caffeine is an appetite suppressant.  I know that if I drink a 20oz bottle of Mt Dew I won't be hungry for a while.  Even when I am hungry, I eat considerably less then I would without the drink.  I was confused about that so I asked a nurse, that's where I learned that caffeine will suppress your appetite.

So, assuming we do have an obesity problem, if soda isn't the problem, what is?  Well, if we look at something called the Twinkie diet we can see that it's not what you eat, but how much.  For those who don't want to click the link I'll sum it up.  A scientist was trying to lose weight and was failing with the traditional ways (weight watchers and the like).  He thought that it was due to the fact that he was eating more on the diets then before.  So he tried an experiment.  He focused not on what he was eating, but how much.  He lost 27lbs and went from overweight to normal.

So if it's not what we eat then the problem is how much.  How did that come to be?  One theory is the "Clean your plate" lesson you were taught as a child.  We learned from a young age that we must eat all the food that's put in front of us.  Another theory is that we simply allow ourselves and our children to eat that much.

So, I would like to introduce my new diet plan, it's called the Willpower Plan.  Just don't eat as much.  All it takes is willpower, something the human race has shown time and time again it has in abundance.  We have shown that threw shear force of will we can do some amazing and horrifying things.  You have the power within you, just do it.

Hay, there we go, we just solved two problems at once.  No more obesity problem and no more stupid laws that just waist tax payer money on non-solutions.

Note: While exercising and eating less will let you lose weight and become more healthy (Take a proper vitamin supplement so you don't have other problems), it cannot change your body type.  Odds are you will not be able to look like Schwarzenegger in his prime, but you will look and feel better.

On a (possibly paranoid) tangent: This law is a problem.  It doesn't do anything, it just costs money.  Is the law the source of the problem?  Is the goal to stop obesity the source of the problem?  Well, I would guess no.  Passing this law won't do anything and even the people who support this law know that.  The supporters of this law point out that you can just go to a grocery store and buy a two liter.  Well there's where the law fails.  It's not going to stop anything because there are too many other legal options.

So why does this law even exist if everyone knows it won't work?  It's a steppingstone law.  The next law will ban a little more, then a little more after that, and so on and so forth.  So is the source of the problem that is this law just incompetence, willful ignorance, or something much worse?

No matter what the source of the problem is, micro managing our lives will cause much bigger problems for everybody.

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